Is it strange to love a marionberry?
That question came from one of our employees shortly after the massive floods that hit Rogue Farms in December. Our two-acre field of Prickless Marionberries appeared to be hit hard. Smothered under tons of debris, many of the plants were pulled out by the roots as the floodwaters rushed through the field.
In the end, it all worked out fine. We replanted the marionberries that were torn from the soil while the remainder suffered only minor damage. When the buds came out a few weeks ago we knew our first crop of marionberries was going to be okay.
But that’s not the point.
How could anyone love a marionberry?
You see, that employee was one of the people who trained our marionberries last fall. She visited hundreds of plants and tied the growing canes to the trellis system by hand. It was long, hard work. But during that time she developed a bond for the crop that only a farmer or gardener can understand. When it looked like our marionberries might not make it after the floods – she was worried.
That’s the point.
At a time when so much of farming and brewing is mechanized, a lot of the work we do at Rogue Farms we do by hand.
That includes stringing, staking and training our hops….
Floor malting our barley, rye and corn…
Roasting our malts…
Picking our peppers…
And harvesting our pumpkins.
We don’t think it’s at all strange to love a marionberry, a hop cone, a grain of barley, a jalapeño pepper or a pumpkin. That’s what happens when you take the time to plant, grow, pick, malt and roast your crops by hand, one small batch at a time. You get to know your ingredients in a way that’s impossible when you buy them from someone else.
We think it makes us better farmers, maltsters, brewers and distillers. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
With spring just around the corner, we’re getting ready to string, stake and train our 42 acres of hops. Drop in and join us for one of our favorite chores of the season, and see how we’re Growing The Revolution in 2016.